Carrot sticks and hummus are my go-to snack when I need a quick, healthy pick-me-up. When time is on my side, though, carrots have so much more to offer than simply snacking. Roasting brings out their natural sweetness, making them a tasty, easy side dish. There’s the ever-popular carrot-ginger soup pairing, which Food Network Kitchens has turned into an energy-boosting breakfast smoothie. Speaking of soup, I found a couple of new, inspiring ones too. Here’s a peek at some of the more-versatile recipes that elevate the humble carrot to superstar status in the kitchen.
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For better or worse, risotto has garnered a bit of a bad rap. After all, while traditional recipes promise deliciously creamy, comforting results, they do require a bit of attention and greatly benefit from low-and-slow cooking. Food Network Magazine’s Broccoli-Cheddar Oven Risotto (pictured above), however, celebrates the texture and taste of the classic preparation but is made almost entirely in the oven in only 35 minutes, which means little hands-on time is entailed.
The secret to Food Network Magazine’s risotto is twofold: cooking the broccoli separately from the risotto and covering the rice with plenty of hot liquid before baking. After quickly sauteing onions in butter with the rice and wine, stir into the mixture a whopping 4 cups of broth, then transfer it to the oven to finish cooking. In a little while the rice will have absorbed the liquid and become tender, while creating the smooth, rich sauce for which it’s famous. It’s important to use Arborio rice instead of everyday brown or white rice, as the Italian variety has a high starch content, and it’s that starch released during cooking that will ultimately create the creamy consistency. Before serving, add sharp cheddar cheese and a splash of hot water to loosen the texture, then stir in the roasted broccoli to round out the meal. To maintain a wholly vegetarian meal, be sure to use vegetable broth in place of the chicken broth.
Surfing the wave of mash-up mania that brought the world the Cronut™ and ramen burger, we decided to beat winter by partnering with our brilliant culinary team in Food Network Kitchen to come up with THE most comforting comfort food. Together with Cooking Channel, we’ve mashed up some classics to create all-new recipes that deliver double the comfort. Over the next several weeks, we’ll be revealing the ways we mixed and remixed some of our favorite dishes, with one recipe appearing on Food Network and another on Cooking Channel.
First up: two Italian-American classics, pizza and Caesar salad. We already know that these dishes complement each other — often they’re eaten together in the same meal, perhaps at a favorite neighborhood red-sauce joint. Why not embrace their cheesy, creamy, crunchy, garlicky qualities all in one dish?
On this morning’s all-new episode of The Kitchen, Katie Lee proved that when it comes to sweet tooth-satisfying desserts, sometimes preparation and assembly can be just as productive as baking. She welcomed her mom, Kim, to the set, and together they made a duo of no-bake desserts: No-Bake “Cow Pile” Cookies, featuring a crave-worthy combination of chocolate, peanut butter and oats, and No-Bake Banana Pudding Pie, a simple but comforting classic.
Whether you’re looking for fuss-free treats to make with your kids or just need a go-to dessert for a last-minute get-together, no-bake recipes like Katie’s offer endless quick-fix options. Since you don’t need to account for baking time, most dishes can be fully prepared in mere minutes (although they may need to cool) and are simple to execute, even in a hurry. Cheesecakes and tarts become even easier if they’re started with a store-bought crust, while trifles, mousses and mix-and-drop cookies guarantee wows from the crowd despite being nearly effortless to put together.
As an avid biscuit maker, I enjoy eating and baking many forms of biscuits. There are fluffy, light, flaky biscuits; tender, soft, cakelike biscuits; massive country-style biscuits called catheads; and delicate tea biscuits meant for ladies’ luncheons.
I’m asked quite a bit about biscuits. Random folks hear my accent and ask about Southern biscuits. People reach out on Twitter and Facebook. I also get at least a couple of emails a week asking how to make biscuits.
During the fall and winter months, cauliflower becomes one of my staple vegetables, and we end up eating it at least once a week (and even more often during the depth of the season). The only trouble with my cauliflower habit is that it always ends up as a side dish and never as the dinnertime star.
That’s not to say that I don’t like the three ways I make it (mashed, roasted or baked in a cheesy sauce). But lately I’ve been seeing lots of ways that people are transforming cauliflower into the main event, and I want in on that action.
Remember when grilled cheese meant nothing more than bread, cheese and butter? It turns out that’s all just a starting point for this cheesy hand held favorite. Before taking out the panini press or heating up a skillet, help your grilled cheeses grow up by stacking them high with all kinds of fun add-ins. With just a little creativity, grilled cheese can mature into a cheesy meal worthy of lunch or dinner. And, when it comes to comfort food, few things in this world can compare.
1. Perfected — For the Barefoot Contessa, the Ultimate Grilled Cheese means layering thick slices of smoky bacon, multiple types of cheese and even a swipe of Dijon on sourdough.
2. Wide Open — Assembled on a crusty halved baguette, this Open-Faced Tomato Grilled Cheese by Food Network Magazine is so good it doesn’t even need that top layer of bread.
3. Smoky Spin — Pack all of the flavors of chile relleno, a Mexican favorite, into Roasted Poblano and Mushroom Grilled Cheese. With a noted smokiness for chipotle peppers, this sandwich has all the vibes of the traditional dish.
For this week’s Chopped Dinner Challenge, the chefs of Food Network Kitchen chose to feature the basket ingredient T-bone steaks. The goal of this challenge was to elevate average steaks with as much flavor as possible. Taking a cue from a classic Caesar salad, this recipe for Caesar T-Bone Steak with Stout Pan Sauce uses garlic and anchovies as a rub to bring umami flavor to the steaks. In addition, roasted fingerling potatoes and stout beer sauce round out the dish to make a complete meal that’s packed with punch. Serve these steaks for a special weekend dinner with friends and family.
A tried-and-true classic that you’ve likely been enjoying for decades, beef stroganoff is a comfort food favorite that’s rich, creamy and satisfying. The secret to a successful stroganoff is letting the dish develop as much flavor as possible, which is why most recipes suggest cooking it on a low temperature for a long time. After a while, the mushroom sauce will develop full, robust flavors and the meat will break down and become deliciously tender. And because stroganoff is most often served alongside noodles, it’s a go-to dish if you’re looking to stretch your beef purchase. Check out Food Network’s top-five beef stroganoff recipes below to find traditional and contemporary takes on this timeless dish that’s ideal for a hearty Sunday supper.
5. Skillet Hamburger Stroganoff — Try swapping lean ground beef in place of traditional sirloin or chuck roast, and opt for low-fat sour cream and enriched pasta to offer a lighter take on traditional stroganoff without sacrificing the taste or texture of the classic meal.
4. 5 Ingredient Beef Stroganoff — The beef in this recipe is sliced thinly, so the dish takes only 30 quick minutes to prepare from start to finish. Just sear it first, then simmer the sirloin in a meaty combination of onions and beef stock, and finish with sour cream for richness.
Remember the overly sweet Waldorf salad your aunt would bring to the annual potluck picnic when you were young — the salad so drenched with creamy dressing that all of the other ingredients couldn’t be tasted? This Waldorf salad isn’t like that. Giada’s new-age version, her Updated Waldorf Salad with Apple Vinaigrette (pictured above) from Food Network Magazine, is everything your aunt’s isn’t, with a fresh mix of colors and textures, plus a made-over topping that only enhances the best flavors of this tried-and-true dish.
While the old-fashioned recipe largely features fruit and nuts, Giada’s salad goes several steps further by incorporating grains and lettuce. She starts by making whole-wheat pearl couscous, then adds to it crunchy fennel, as well as the requisite green grapes, apples and toasted walnuts so it doesn’t lose that traditional taste. These ingredients become married with a simple dressing of apple cider vinegar and honey. For an additional spin on the classic, Giada serves her Waldorf salad in individual lettuce cups — the leaves of bright-purple radicchio — to offer added crispness. Perhaps best of all, because Giada’s salad takes only 25 minutes to prepare and doesn’t need to chill in the refrigerator before serving, it’s a go-to last-minute recipe for when you’re tight on time.